In March 2020, South Africa confirmed its first case of COVID-19. Seven months later the country had just over 650 000 people who had tested positive for the new coronavirus. Here’s what our local epidemic has looked like over time.


Since South Africa reported its first case of COVID-19 in March, Bhekisisa has been taking daily statements from the national health department and turning them into easy-to-understand graphics.

Initially, these maps were a way to help people visualise the spread of the virus throughout the country and see how the epidemic was growing. Then in July, as South Africa’s outbreak was changing and case numbers were dropping, we decided to introduce a new element and showcase the number of active cases in the country.

This resource is designed for you to scroll through and get a quick snapshot of what South Africa’s epidemic looked like on a specific day. You can also use it to track how the outbreak has evolved over time.

South Africa: COVID-19 Active Cases from 6 July to present

602. 15 May 2022

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As of 15 May, 35 441 399 vaccine doses have been administered.

To date 18 542 344 adults and teens have been fully vaccinated.

So far 21 502 593 people have been vaccinated with one dose of JnJ or Pfizer, 1 726 293 of them are teenagers who’ve had one Pfizer shot.

Looking at this as percentages 44.78% of adults are fully vaccinated. In the teen population 8.92% of them have gotten both Pfizer jabs.

A total of 2 960 412 booster shots have been given to adults.

There are 3 891 793 confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa, including 4 344 new cases.

A total of 3 710 696 recoveries have been reported to date.

Since yesterday, 2 new deaths have been reported. This brings the national death toll to 100 755.

We’ve included a downloadable spreadsheet, which we designed to help calculate the number of active cases. The spreadsheet contains data originally shared by the health department in daily press releases.

Now instead of sifting through hundreds of PDF documents, you can filter through the numbers with ease and pull out specific areas of interest — for example, focusing on changes or  the number of active cases in a specific province.

South Africa: COVID-19 Cumulative Cases from 5 March – 6 July

001. March 5 2020

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South Africa has confirmed its first case of COVID-19.

The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on March 1, 2020.

The patient consulted a private general practitioner on March 3, with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough.

The practice nurse took swabs and delivered it to the lab.

The patient has been self-isolating since March 3. The couple also has two children.

The Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) has identified the contacts by interviewing the patient and doctor.

The tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from NICD. The doctor has been self-isolated as well.

WATCH: How South Africa’s epidemic began

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Aisha Abdool Karim was a senior health reporter at Bhekisisa from 2020 to 2022.

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Dylan Bush is Bhekisisa's production and multimedia manager.